Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

Savioke raises $13.4 million in new funding for its small-item-carrying robot Relay

Service robotics company Savioke has raised $13.4 million in its latest funding round.

New investors in this Series B round included Brain Corp, Swisslog Healthcare, NESIC, and Recruit.

The round brings Savioke’s total funding to $31 million. 

In a blog post on the company’s website, Steve Cousins, founder and CEO of Savioke, says the company’s “Relay” mobile robot will now be looking to find employment in the medical sector.

Cousins says: “With the new round of funding, we are expanding into the hospital market where Relay can help nurses, lab technicians, and other healthcare workers deliver essential items like specimens, medication, and supplies throughout the hospital.”

At the beginning, Savioke robots were mostly been seen in hotels, making deliveries from the front reception to guests’ rooms – providing robotic room service, if you will.

Gradually, they started being seen in companies of different types, including manufacturing and logistics companies, being used for moving small items from part of the facility to another.

“Savioke was founded on the belief that robotic automation can help people,” says Cousins.

“We know that adding robots to teams enables the overall team to be more productive and allows the people on the team to do more valuable work. In the hospital environment, Relay will help highly-skilled nurses and technicians focus on their most important job rather than the time-consuming task of delivery, which can put patients at risk and leave units understaffed.”

(Read Robotics and Automation News’ exclusive interview with Savioke’s Cousins.)

Cousins says Savioke’s new funding and the new partners it has found “represent a major opportunity for growth”, not only expanding into new markets, but new use cases that allow Relay to provide “more meaningful work and become a more valued member of the team”.

Swisslog Heathcare is seen as a crucial partner for Savioke in bringing Relay to a new market.

Stephan Sonderegger, CEO of Swisslog Healthcare, says: “Many hospitals are seeking to automate tedious, repetitive tasks that take skilled staff away from patients and other critical work.

“This is exactly the problem Savioke mobile robots can solve. There are many applications for this automated services technology in healthcare, which we have already begun to prove.”

As well as Swisslog, Savioke welcomed Brain Corp as an investor. Brain Corp has a software platform called BrainOS, which will be licensed to Savioke.

Cousins says Savioke is looking forward to integrating technology from Brain Corp, an AI company specializing in the development of self-driving technology for robots, to help the company “to continue to innovate and scale”.

Brain Corp co-founder and CEO Eugene Izhikevich says: “We have experienced strong success automating the floor care industry, and as part of our growth strategy, are now introducing the BrainOS platform across a multitude of other applications.

“Savioke has a unique product, early traction and experienced leadership. We are confident Savioke and Brain Corp will make ideal partners as we work together to make robots part of our day-to-day lives.”

Cousins, who also happens to be the founder of the open-source Robot Operating System, says: “Working with Brain Corp’s BrainOS platform will help Savioke scale efficiently to quickly deliver robotic solutions to our customers and partners in the global healthcare, hospitality and logistics markets.

“As we continue to expand, BrainOS will allow us to better focus our internal development efforts on customer-specific applications and environments.”